Firstly, don’t be intimidated by the name and lingo associated with this naturally sparkling beverage full of health benefits. Playing around with cultures and fermentation at first for me seemed a little too hard basket but once I was given the below recipe from my dear friend Lisa, it really made preparing my daily source of probiotics and vitamin B (amongst other things) toddler’s play…
We begin with a SCOBY…haha no, not an ‘invented by Maggie’ word but an abbreviation for a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. I am constantly turning these out if you would like one and you live in Nelson please feel free to request one from me. Otherwise you can potentially acquire one from your local organic shop or trade me. Scoby’s are rather precious and can suffocate easily so once getting one, I would suggest making your kombucha within 2 days and always keep in the hot water cupboard. They also don’t like to be handled by anything other than glass and plastic (and stainless steel when necessary e.g the pot for boiling water) during the entire tea making process so always stir your sugar and add and remove teabags with a wooden or plastic spoon..
1) Boil 3x Litres of water
2) Dissolve 1x Cup of sugar in the boiled water. (The sugar is the food for the SCOBY and has been fermented and therefore gone from the liquid at the time of drinking)
2) Add 5x teabags of your choice but at least 3 must be black or green. (it’s quite fun playing around with different fruit and herbal teas all with individual benefits too. let brew for 15 minutes then take out teabags and let completely cool.
3) Pour tea in to a glass jar (I use a 3kg gherkin one I got from the dump shop) and add the SCOBY and a cup of previously brewed kombucha. Allow a little bit of room at the top of the jar for gas.
4) Cover the top of the jar with a tea towel or muslin cloth and tie it on.
5) Place in the hot water cupboard for 14 days. Any less=too sweet, any more=too vinegary.
6) Remove from the hot water cupboard and remove the SCOBY layer which will be lining the top of your jar. This would have doubled in size so you can now halve it and share with someone else in a container with a cup of the final product.
7) Pour kombucha in to bottles for storage (old wine or cider bottles will do), leave a little room in the top for gas.
8) Leave the bottles out of the fridge for 2-3 days to allow for the natural fizz to develop further then transfer in to the fridge to store.
6) Drink! and share with your family including your toddler who may take a while to get used to the taste but trust me PERSIST! Maggie loves it now! Don’t be freaked out by threads of yeast floating in your glass, these are safe to drink but if you’d rather not, pour your glass through a sieve or tea strainer first.
Google has a wealth of info on the health benefits of drinking kombucha tea every day so I won’t ramble any more here about it. Enjoy better digestion! Enjoy a good guts! And keep giving your extra SCOBYS to your friends and family so they can reap the rewards too.
Aunty Lonnie xx.